Home Global Game CONCACAF CONCACAF’s attempt to clarify the Fury situation only serves to muddy the waters

CONCACAF’s attempt to clarify the Fury situation only serves to muddy the waters

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CONCACAF has issued a statement regarding the Ottawa Fury, and it only serves to make a confusing situation, well, even more confusing.

Yesterday, the Fury announced that it would be consulting its lawyers after the club learned CONCACAF would not be sanctioning the team to remain in USL for the 2019 season. The Fury announced earlier in 2018 that the team wished to remain in USL and not join the new Canadian Premier League.

Here is CONCACAF’s statement, in full:

Concacaf typically does not comment publicly on sanctioning matters, but due to the lack of clarity regarding the state of the process and the unilateral statements from various parties in regard to the Ottawa Fury Football Club (Ottawa Fury) participating in the 2019 season of the United Soccer League (USL), we would like to clarify the following:

  • Under international sanctioning rules, clubs that are affiliated to an Association may only join competitions in another Association’s territory under exceptional circumstances. For the sanctioning of such play in our region, approval must be given by Concacaf and FIFA; 
  • Concacaf to date has not received a formal request from any party to consider sanctioning the participation of the Ottawa Fury in the 2019 season of the USL, despite public announcements by Ottawa Fury that it would be doing so;
  • In the fall of 2018, after unilateral public statements made by Ottawa Fury and before any sanctioning application was made to any governing body, Concacaf clearly advised the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) of its concerns regarding this matter. A further written correspondence to the CSA followed in November, providing guidance on our view that as it stands to date, we do not see exceptional circumstances, given the launch of the Canadian Premier League (CPL) for the 2019 season. 

As the governing body for international football in North, Central America and the Caribbean, we are committed to govern on behalf of all of our 41 Associations and key stakeholders. 

OK, first off, CONCACAF has said that it hasn’t rejected the Fury’s application. It says that it hasn’t even received a formal request about 2019 sanctioning. BUT, it says that in the fall that it had warned Canada Soccer that it likely wasn’t going to greenlight a sanctioning of the Fury in USL for 2019.

Meanwhile, on Thursday the USL released its divisional alignment for 2019, with the Fury as members of the Eastern Conference. The Fury and USL are both still planning as if it’s business as usual when it comes to prepping for the 2019 campaign.

Canada Soccer confirmed yesterday that it had given the green light for the Fury to play in USL for 2019, and that CONCACAF advised that it “would not be authorizing the participation of the Ottawa Fury in the USL for the 2019 season.” Canada Soccer said an application was also sent to U.S. Soccer to permit the Fury to keep participating in the cross-border league, but no response had yet come from the Americans.  But, then CONCACAF says all it has done is advise the CSA that it didn’t feel the “exceptional circumstances” clause had been satisfied, but hasn’t actually received any paperwork regarding the Fury.

And, then, with the Canadian Premier League being considered Division 1, does CONCACAF now need to explain why the three Canadian MLS teams do fit the “exceptional circumstance” criteria and the Fury does not?

And, if CONCACAF advised the CSA in the fall that it did not see the “exceptional circumstances” clause being met, why did Canada Soccer approve the Fury deal and then plan to kick it up to CONCACAF, anyway?

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